Recent advances in hepatorenal syndrome.Trop Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan-Mar; 26(1):13-20.TG
Hepatorenal syndrome is a common complication of advanced cirrhosis, characterized by renal failure and major disturbances in circulatory function. Renal failure is caused by intense vasoconstriction of the renal circulation. The syndrome is probably the final consequence of extreme underfilling of the arterial circulation secondary to arterial vasodilatation in the splanchninc vascular bed. The diagnosis of HRS is currently based on the exclusion of other causes of renal failure. The prognosis is very poor, particularly when there is rapidly progressive renal failure (type 1). Liver transplantation is the best option in patients without contraindications to the procedure, but it is not always possible owing to the short survival expectancy. Therapies introduced during the past few years, such a vasoconstrictor drugs (vasopressin analogues, mu-adrenergic agonist) or the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, are effective in improving renal function. Nevertheless, liver transplantation should still be done in suitable patients even after improvement of renal function because the outcome of HRS is poor.